So what if it isn't raining where you are, celebrate with these monsoon snacks!

So what if it isn't raining where you are, celebrate with these monsoon snacks!

Pakoras, parathas, patishapta... list is endless for UAE expats

Step-by-step guide to making samosas Image Credit: Kulfiholic - The Mumbai Gully

It all started with a phone call last week. The line was scrubby and I could hardly hear what my Mum was saying. Hearing the frustration in my voice, she soothed: "It's raining... the connection gets erratic. It's Mumbai, you know it better than anyone."

Of course, I knew. My next question was: "What are you making for tea?" It was 4pm. The monsoon season had arrived in my city, my home and that meant overcast skies, flooded streets, washed streets and food that tastes best when it rains.

So, here I am sharing the joy of monsoon dishes, some quick, some more elaborate, to celebrate the rains - it doesn't matter if all we can see here are sunny rays. Let's share the food memories and science says that it has enough power to transport us to a time of raincoats, blown away umbrellas and gum-boots!

Samosa... a detailed guide to creating this filled pastry snack at home

Pani puri and chaat... small, fried pastry shells filled with minty chutney, lentils, potatoes and sweetened tamarind sauce. Here's a story and recipe for it. You cannot stop at 6, has to be at least a dozen. Trust a Mumbaikar!

Pani puri
Pani puri Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Aloo paratha... who can deny the joy of this spiced potato flaky pancake, served hot off the griddle with some warm salted butter and mango pickle or achar, as it pours outside. Here's a must try recipe from one of our earliest Food section contributors Saira Ahmed.

Aloo paratha Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Begun bhaja... or eggplant fritters from Kolkata. This might not exactly categorise as a commonly consumed monsoon snack, but tastes delicious with hot rice and steaming dal. You know those days when you walk in through the door from university, famished and soaked from walking in a sudden torrential downpour that stops the minute you reach home. Bhaja, dal, fried fish and rice is the only remedy! Here's a quick recipe. It's a special shout out to one of our earliest food bloggers Bong Eats... their recipes are fabulous.

Begun Bhaja
Eggplant marinated and fried Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Upma... this is a really easy dish to conjure up with roasted semolina, herbs, mustard and clarified butter. This staple from the south of India makes for an excellent breakfast dish on a rainy morning, as some toss in vegetables diced in mirepoix cut to make for a wonderfully balanced meal. In fact, it's my go-to meal for a quick office lunch. Here's a recipe.

Upma Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Patishapta... the list would not be complete without something sweet. I had to share these light-as-air pancakes stuffed with jaggery sweetened fresh coconut. Its caramel centre is offset by the light pancake, which makes this classic recipe from West Bengal a perfect culinary refuge on a puddle-soaked late afternoon, as the watery sunlight fills up the kitchen window and you can almost catch a glimpse of a rainbow. Here's a recipe that must be eaten warm.

Eat fresh or store it outside Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

Do you have any recipes linked to memories of a season? Share your experiences and recipes with us at

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